How can the youth Develop Leadership Competence?

Dr Aola Imcha

Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leaders can carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills.

At the core most definition of leadership are two functions: providing direction and exercising influence. 

It can be said that effective leaders are those who creates a compelling vision for others, who model values and principles that others seek to follow, and who motivate and inspire the talents around them. Basically Leadership is the achievement of results through people. 

The development of good leadership contributes greatly to the positive development of young minds and their communities. Leadership skills, such as goal-setting, problem-solving and sound decision-making, are not just necessary for leaders but these skills are very much needed for success in today’s world. 

To have a futuristic view on how to make a better society, it is very important to prepare platforms to train people on leadership training in all areas of life.

What makes a person want to follow a leader? People want to be guided by those they respect and who have a clear sense of direction. To gain respect, they must be ethical. A sense of direction is achieved by conveying a strong vision of the future. 

Leadership is much more than wielding enormous power and exercising authority. He/She should entail the ability to mentor, coach, inspire and motivate. A Leader should be able to build teams, create cohesion, resolve conflicts and originate change for the betterment of the society. 

The concept is to mobilize people, especially the youths to bring about positive change, participate actively during electoral process so as to vote in people of integrity and honor.

A thorough examination of the lives of most accomplished leaders would reveal that they have passed through a thorough process of education, refinement and fine-tuning, which eventually resulted in astuteness and leadership acumen otherwise known as charismatic leadership. No leader can become charismatic if he/She does not undergo a plethora of varied experience, training and education which brings out the best in him/her to perform effectively and efficiently as a leader.

That possession of leadership competence is a must for every leader who desires to make an indelible mark on the sands of time in this 21st century. The reason is because the 21st century is obviously replete with technological and scientific development and inventions that have reduced the world to a global village.

Turning to the youths, who are seen as potential leaders of tomorrow, the challenge becomes no less daunting on them to develop, imbibe and internalize the time-tested qualities of accomplished leaders in order to meet with the challenges of the century leadership.

As leaders, choosing the right values and the ethics that are most important, the values and ethics they believe in and that define their character. Living one’s values is one of the most powerful tools available to help a leader lead and influence others.

Young people need to develop their leadership skills in “real situations” that they deem important, which allows them to become actively engaged “in the decision-making processes”. In other words, youth need opportunities to both learn about and practice leadership, in meaningful and authentic ways.

Experience leaders also play a critical role in helping young people develop as leaders. Working with them, young people can learn about the many different leaders and leadership styles, and the ways that leadership and beliefs about leadership are shaped by culture, values, and life experiences. This experience leader can support them to find or create the style that’s right for them. They can help to understand what makes leaders act the way they do. The ideal is not to lock you in to a type of behavior but to realize that every situation calls for a different approach or behavior to be taken.

Most leadership theorists agree that leaders are made, not born and that young people can learn and develop leadership skills and attitudes.

Whichever way it is looked at, experience, it is said, is not bought in the market. One has to go through the mills or under tutelage before it can be obtained. From all indications it is seen that leaders are not born but they are made. 

It is said “The secret of a leader lies in the tests he has faced over the whole course of his life and the habit of action he develops in meeting those tests.”